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othello

By kassssss1 Mar 11, 2015 1144 Words
William Shakespeare's Othello is a play of destruction, deception and jealousy in which the mind of a valiant soldier named Othello is manipulated and cheated leading to his downfall. It is clear in the play that the contriving actions of others enable his weaknesses to be preyed upon and used as a tool of annihilation, but it is through the beguilement of others that seals him to his treacherous fate. Iago plays upon Othello’s own weaknesses and fears with his lies and innuendos making Othello a more susceptible victim. The scenes which will undergo analysis are Act 1 Scene 3, Act 3 Scene 3 and Act 5 Scene 2 and will thereby give substantial evidence to support the argument that Othello’s downfall was brought on by the scheming of others.

Act 1, Scene 3 is the beginning of Iago and Roderigo’s scheming against Othello but Roderigo is unaware that Iago is using him as an instrument of manipulation to take down his rival, Cassio, and Othello. Iago achieves this through Roderigo’s weakness of loving Desdemona in which he is utterly morose about his rejection, and uses this as a weapon to help his plan. Iago’s manipulative skills come into play as he deceptively reassures him that, “She must change for youth: when she is sated with his body, she will find the error of her choice.” (Lines 334-336). Iago creates a misleading story which wills Roderigo into accepting his offer. Othello clearly shows his trust towards Iago when talking to the Duke about his secret marriage to Desdemona, “A man he is of honest and trust. To his conveyance I assign my wife” (Lines 281-282). This is a clear representation of dramatic irony as Iago’s character proves to be the opposite of honest and trustworthy, “Appearances vs. reality”, Iago uses this theme to his advantage, his appearance to Othello may seem authentic and honest but his reality is a cold, brutal yearning for power. Brabantio plays upon Othello’s weakness of his love for Desdemona, “Look to her, Moor, if though hast eyes to see. She has deceived her father, and may thee." (Lines 333-334) This line foreshadows that if Desdemona deceived her own father, Brabantio, why does Othello think the same won’t be done to him? This line also serves great purpose to following scenes of the play, when Othello is later convinced by Iago of Desdemona’s “lust” for Cassio. Othello can remember back to Brabantio’s words and be reminded of the deceit towards her father and now, in turn, Othello too. This scene, all in all, establishes the perfect foundation for Iago’s scheming against Othello, which proceeds to his disastrous downfall.

Act 3,Scene 3 Emilia, Iago’s wife, finds Desdemona’s handkerchief, the one given to her from Othello as a symbol of their love, and later shows it to Iago. Iago takes the handkerchief from Emilia and then plants it in Cassio’s room so that he can arouse more suspicion within Othello. “Oh that the slave had forty thousand lives! One is too poor, too weak for my revenge. Now do I see ‘tis true. Look here, Iago, All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven.” (Lines 452-455), said by Othello after he finds out of the handkerchief, it shows the rage in his heart. Iago manipulates Othello into thinking that Desdemona is licentious."Her name, that was as fresh as dian's visage, is now begrimed and black..." (Lines 441-445). Othello uses a metaphor to describe in past tense that her reputation was once as white as snow; pure, and she has now turned into the opposite, he has also used an allusion; making reference to the Goddess of Chastity. This line shows that Iago’s scheming against Othello has proved to be working to Iago’s advantage in the downfall of Othello as he (Othello), now believes that he has lost Desdemona’s love and affection to his once trusted ally, Cassio, and this in turn ultimately is the beginning of the end of Othello’s downfall. "Never, Iago. Like to the Pontic Sea, Whose icy current...." (Lines 514-516). Othello uses a metaphor to say that his violent thoughts and rage are flowing like a river, this line also shows great anger and torment within Othello and shows to us that there will be more trouble to follow. This scene shows us how powerless Othello is becoming, his major weakness being Desdemona and he has now been persuaded by Iago that Othello no longer holds Desdemona’s heart. This scene starts to produce doubt within Othello’s heart and mind, Iago having said, “She did deceive her father marrying you,” (Line 209) Can Othello trust Desdemona? Would Desdemona truly betray Othello?

Act 5, Scene 2 This scene brings us to the real tragedy and downfall of Othello. In this scene Othello murders Desdemona. "Put out the light," (lines 7-10). One of the techniques used in this scene was repetition where "Put out the light," is said three times by Othello, the language technique of repetition in this scene shows us that Othello does not want to murder Desdemona, he repeats these words as he is trying to justify his actions. In addition, the repetition also emphasizes Othello’s emotions; the regret that is already sinking in about what he is planning to do. Repetition is also used again in this scene, "One more," (Lines 18-21). Othello repeats this three times, in reference to giving Desdemona a kiss, this again bares Othello’s emotions, showing he does not want to commit this act of violence but feels it is for the best. “Oh, she was foul! I scarce did you know, Uncle. There lies your neice, whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopped. I know this act shows horrible and grim.’’ (Lines 214-216), this quote shows to us that even though Othello is degrading Desdemona, he is still aware of his wrong doing. Othello has succumb to his fears, in which were created by Iago, of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness. The death of his wife, Desdemona, is a representation of dramatic irony as Desdemona was anything but a “Whore.” (Line 146). Throughout all of the scheming, Othello still believes Iago until the end of the play, “My friend, thy husband: honest, honest Iago.” (Line 151). Othello was blind due to all the manipulation that had been polluting his life. Once Othello realises that Iago had been plotting against him and had betrayed him, he is filled with rage and malicious thoughts, Othello realises his mistakes and with that he takes his own life, not only so he won’t have to face the consequences of his actions but so he can be with his beloved, Desdemona. These tragic outcomes are the evil works of an insanely jealous Iago, and it is through his sinister schemes that inevitably leads to Othello’s calamitous downfall.

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